CVS Pharmacies Pull Tobacco Products From U.S. Stores

CVS stores in the U.S. are saying so long to all tobacco products in a landmark move.

CVS Pharmacies Pull Tobacco Products From U.S. Stores
Wikimedia Commons / Ildar Sagdejev

CVS stores in the U.S. are saying so long to all tobacco products.

"Starting on Oct. 1, it will no longer sell cigarettes or any other tobacco products. It is the first chain of national pharmacies to take tobacco products off store shelves." (Via WJW-TV)

CVS officials say they made the decision because selling products like cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco side-by-side with medicine doesn't promote good health. (Via CNN)

"There's a growing focus and emphasis on healthy outcomes, managing chronic disease. We generate sales, but at the same time we believe this is the right decision for our company. It positions us for future growth." (Via CBS)

The move is the first of its kind. But, many news outlets are noting it could cost the company about $2 billion in sales from tobacco buyers.

Still, The New York Times points out that's not a massive dent in the overall $123 billion CVS raked in in 2012.

The decision is getting some early positive feedback from health officials, including U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who called the move "an unprecedented step in the retail industry." (Via PBS)

And even President Obama has weighed in. He said in a statement CVS, "...sets a powerful example, and... will help advance my Administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease... ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come." (Via The White House)

So, the company's bold move is getting a lot of praise – will others follow suit?

NBC reports pharmacy retailer Walgreens has refused to comment on the CVS move, and representatives for Rite-Aid Corp. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. have done the same.

But if other companies decide to take tobacco off their shelves, it could further already falling cigarette sales reported in the U.S. According to Euromonitor International, cigarette sales dropped 31.3 percent between 2003 and 2013.